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Why is fertility on the rise in Egypt? The role of women’s employment opportunities

Authors
  • Krafft, Caroline1, 2
  • 1 University of Minnesota, Ruttan Hall, 1994 Buford Avenue, St. Paul, MN, 55108, USA , St. Paul (United States)
  • 2 St. Catherine University, 2004 Randolph Hall, St. Paul, MN, 55105, USA , St. Paul (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Population Economics
Publisher
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Publication Date
Apr 13, 2020
Volume
33
Issue
4
Pages
1173–1218
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s00148-020-00770-w
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
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Abstract

Can declining employment opportunities for women reverse the fertility transition? This paper presents evidence that the demographic transition has not just stalled but in fact reversed in Egypt. After falling for decades, fertility rates increased. The paper examines the drivers of rising fertility rates, with a particular focus on the role of declining public sector employment opportunities for women. Estimates show the effect of public sector employment on the spacing and occurrence of births using discrete-time hazard models. The paper then uses the results to simulate total fertility rates. The models address the potential endogeneity of employment by incorporating woman-specific fixed effects, incorporating local employment opportunities rather than women’s own employment, and using local employment opportunities as an instrument. Results indicate that the decrease in public sector employment, which is particularly appealing to women, may have contributed to the rise in fertility but is unlikely to be its main cause.

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